The Pneumonias pp 199-254 | Cite as

Pneumonia: Treatment and Prognosis

  • Monroe Karetzky


The concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere has not changed since the turn of the century, and currently predictions are for it to remain constant for the foreseeable future. It does not, however, satisfy the needs of patients with pneumonia. The therapeutic potential of supplemental oxygen was immediately apparent to Priestly when he and his “volunteer” mice experienced the “high” of inspiring the “dephlogisticated air” he discovered 200 years ago. Following a dinner conversation shortly thereafter, Lavoisier subsequently elaborated on his colleague’s findings. He demonstrated its uptake in the lungs and its respiratory function with the resultant carbon dioxide production. It was not until 1798, however, after a lapse of 25 years when Thomas Beddoes opened his Pneumatic Institute at Bristol, that the therapeutic potential of oxygen was pursued for a variety of ailments including lung disease. This spa (as well as the residential hotels established for hyperbaric oxygen therapy 150 years later), unfortunately did not prove to be a financially viable endeavor and could not be sustained on its scientific merit alone.


Nosocomial Pneumonia Ventilatory Response Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Inspiratory Muscle Pneumococcal Pneumonia 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

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  • Monroe Karetzky

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